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Renton Specials - Renton School District - August 2015

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  • High Quality Instruction and Learning for Every Child, Every Day in Every Classroom

    The new school year is near! In a few days Renton School District will open its doors for thousands of students, teachers, educators and support staff. What an exciting time for learning. For me, a new school year brings energy, enthusiasm, and even nervousness. I believe that means were anticipating great things and that theres good work to be done.

    I want you to know that we are ready. Our building, maintenance and custodial support staff have been busy through the summer preparing classrooms, common areas and school grounds to be clean and in ready-working condition for student learning. Our technology department have also been working hard to ensure students and teachers have access to 21st Century learning materials and services. Teachers, principals and leaders have continued their learning throughout the summer by attending workshops and training sessions to sharpen their

    knowledge and skills and their ability to ensure the best possible learning experiences for your children.

    Weve hosted Summer Academy programs over the summer months for hundreds of students to continue their learning in reading and language arts, and in

    Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs. Made possible thanks to your generous contributions to the Friends of Renton Schools foundation (

    Our teachers believe that students come to us with the

    desire and willingness to learn and with a curiosity about the world in which they live. Were ready to help spark their brain, remove all barriers to learning and unleash their potential. Our goal is to challenge your child academically as well as help them grow socially and emotionally. We will help guide them toward independent thinking and problem solving.

    Im excited and honored to be a part of this Renton School District team, and Im truly looking forward to providing strong, steady support to our staff and to you through this 2015-2016 year. It is my sincere hope that this year will be a fantastic experience for every student and family.


    Dr. Art JarvisSuperintendent

    Dear Renton School District families and community:

    More than 100 new teachers will be welcomed to Renton next week during the Renton Chamber of Commerce's annual New Teacher Breakfast. This marks the 26th year that Renton-area business leaders have hosted the event to welcome new teachers to the district and the community.

    Some of the district's new teachers

    recently graduated from college, others left industries in the private sector to obtain a teaching degree and enter the classroom. Most new teachers were hired to replace those who retired or moved to a district closer to their home. Rentons new teachers bring a vast array of knowledge and experience and are excited to begin

    teaching Renton students. The new teachers are a welcome addition to the district's professional teaching corps.

    The event is hosted by Renton Technical College and sponsored by UW Medicine/Valley Medical Center, Boeing, King & Bunny's Appliance, First Savings Bank Northwest and Recology CleanScapes.

    New teachers welcomed to the district and community

    Dr. Art Jarvis, right, visits Honey Dew Elementary School with Principal Misty Mbadugha.

  • Hundreds of Renton School District teachers and administrators attended many trainings and workshops throughout the summer months, working to strengthen their personal and professional knowledge and skills to be better prepared to help students learn.

    One such training included teachers and principals from all district elementary schools attending a week-long workshop to strengthen their ability to help students be better readers, writers and thinkers. During the workshops, Rentons educators learned about reading curriculum, effective strategy-based instruction and better utilizing student tests and assessment as a means of individualizing instruction and curriculum development. The training was hosted by the Teachers College Reading & Writing Project at Columbia University.

    Throughout the summer, and during the school year, Renton teachers continue to sharpen their ability to turn their classrooms into rich learning spaces, and to provide high-quality learning environments for students now and in the future.

    Teachers, principals attend summer school, too

    Custodial and maintenance staff prepare schools for great year of student learning

    School and district custodial and maintenance staff have been working hard over the summer to prepare classrooms and schools for the new school year. Maintenance team members have worked long hours thoroughly cleaning every classroom, school office, gym, student lockers, and other areas of school buildings. The maintenance teams have also worked at sanding and refinishing

    gym floors; power washing sidewalks and parking lots; installing new lighting, windows and classroom fixtures; and completing many more projects.

    These professionals are an integral part of the district team who are helping teachers and support staff provide the best possible education for all students.

  • Fifty Dimmitt Middle School students, who are transitioning into middle school from elementary school this coming school year, spent some of their summer sharpening their thinking, knowledge and skills in mathematics. The students also helped more than a dozen teachers and school administrators better understand and employ a teaching method known as Complex Instruction.

    Complex Instruction is an instruction method designed to help teachers better manage classrooms in which students are at varied skill levelssome

    advanced, some in need of more support. It also configures classrooms so that students work together in small groups, allowing them to take on specific roles with peers such as facilitating the table discussion, recording remarks and findings, and checking for understanding of a subject among all students in the group. The classroom configuration provides more interaction between students, helping them work together to ask good questions, rephrase problems, use logic and manipulatives, and justify methods.

    The summer school program did double-duty: helping the new 6th-graders be ready for higher-level mathematics, while

    also helping teachers be ready to better engage students and manage their classrooms and student outcomes.

    Summer school program helps both students and teachers

    Last year nearly 200 Renton School District high school students took world language competency tests in 12 different languages to earn nearly 600 high school credits.

    Thousands of high school students are taking foreign language classes, but students who speak, read and write a language other than English can take world language competency tests for credit toward graduation requirements. The tests measure proficiency and students are asked to speak and write about different topics to see whether his/her proficiency level is at the novice, intermediate, or advanced level. Statewide about 3,500 students took the world language competency tests, earning on average three high school credits.

    Rentons top languages were Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Romanian.

    High school students earn nearly 600 graduation credits in a 12 foreign languages

  • Renton School District | 300 SW 7th Street, Renton WA 98057 | 425.204.2345 | | |

    Looking for a great job?Renton School District is hiring: Apply online now at

    Teaching and non-teaching, full-time positions or part-time substitute positions, with hours that are set or flexible and

    many do not require a teaching degree.Pay can range up to $17.36 per/hour with great benefits.

    Current openings include: Bus Driver, Custodian,Food Service/Substitute Cook, Office Assistant, and more.

    Renton High School is the top large high school in the state to have students ready to enter college by completing the federal Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. 87% of Renton High seniors completed the FAFSA, the national process to apply for college student aid. The FAFSA completion process is so notoriously difficult, intimidating and unnerving that many students and families cant get through the process, causing many to decide not to attend college at all. Nearly 50% of high school graduates in Washington state and the nation failed to complete a FAFSA, and $2.9 billion in Pell Grants nationally went unused as a result of the low completion rate. Even the Gates Foundation publicly proposed simplifying the process.

    But in high schools in the Renton School District, school counselors and staff are working hard to ensure students and families have the necessary

    knowledge, direction and tools to be prepared to complete the 108-question form. Schools hold FAFSA information and completion nights, where

    students and families bring

    their tax records and other

    documentation to be ready to

    answer FAFSA questions.

    Renton High tops in state in preparing students to enter and pay for college

    Recent graduates from Renton School District high schools combined to earn more than $5 million in scholarships as they headed off to colleges in the state, the nation and across the globe. Seven hundred graduates (an estimated 90%) reported enrolling immediately into two- or four-year colleges or universities.

    90% of recent Renton School District graduates report entering into college

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